Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Adding Automatic Lines.

Adding Automatic Lines

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 4, 2016)

6

Word includes a sometimes-helpful little feature that allows you to add lines in your documents, without removing your fingers from the keyboard. All you need to do is start at the left margin of a new line, type at least three characters, and then press Enter. The result is a line based on the characters you typed. You can use the following characters:

  • Type three dashes and you get a single line.
  • Type thee underlines and you get a bold single line.
  • Type three equal signs and you get a double line.
  • Type three asterisks and you get a heavy dotted line.

You can actually type more than three of each character, if you desire. Word doesn't care that much—the only requirement is that there is at least three of them, and they begin at the left margin. What Word does is to add a border of the specified type to the bottom of the paragraph. If you want to later delete the line, the only way to do so is to remove the paragraph, or choose Borders and Shading from the Format menu.

If you can't automatically add lines on your system, follow these steps:

  1. Choose AutoCorrect (or AutoCorrect Options) from the Tools menu. Word displays the AutoCorrect Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the AutoFormat As You Type tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The AutoFormat As You Type tab of the AutoCorrect Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Border Lines (or Borders) check box is checked.
  5. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (622) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Adding Automatic Lines.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Pasting Text with Track Changes

Track Changes is a great tool for developing documents. If you want to copy text from one document to another, with tracked ...

Discover More

Jumping to Text in Worksheet from an Index

In putting together a workbook, you may develop a worksheet that acts as an index, to contain links that lead to other areas ...

Discover More

Changing the Color Used to Denote Selected Cells

When entering data into a range of cells, the cell in which you are working appears in a different color than the other cells ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Forcing a Page Break Before a Paragraph

There are times that you just want to begin a paragraph (perhaps a heading) at the top of a new page. Word allows you to ...

Discover More

Graphics and Line Height

If the inline graphics in your document appear "chopped off," it could be directly related to the formatting within the ...

Discover More

Centering a Paragraph with the Keyboard

Need a quick shortcut that you can use to center your paragraph between the margins? The answer is here.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 8?

2017-04-27 08:04:04

Anon Y Mouse

Where is the tools menu..??


2016-01-02 04:41:25

leo

i want to know whether is there a way where there is a line drawn automatically after i finish 16 lines in a word file ?


2015-05-18 23:07:07

boe

hi i want to change the line colour? can u help me?


2014-07-15 04:43:38

Sandar Min

actually , i need to know how in word 2010.but no problem. i find it. thank u.


2013-12-26 12:26:31

jayant kajbaje

i want to make agreement & four times same name & figure type in paragraph i want to avoid the same, what can i do


2013-03-06 12:35:54

pbasch

Absolutely correct, and a fun feature. One thing, though. I just found that simply deleting the paragraph, or using "Format Borders and Shading" to eliminate the paragraph border, doesn't work, if you highlight only the paragraph with the border! If you do that, Word assigns the border to the next paragraph up. The only way I could get rid of the paragraph border was to highlight the entire document and use "Format Borders and Shading", and select "None". Seems like the way you describe it makes more sense, because you might want a border somewhere else in the document; but I haven't found that it works that way.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.